Croydon Central Library held its second successful Library Festival on Saturday October 7, to celebrate the Ready, Set, Read: Summer Reading Challenge prize winners.
The Reading Challenge is an initiative to encourage children aged 4-11 to take up reading in a fun and engaging way, and a total of 1,850 children from across Croydon signed up to get involved, reaching even more children than last year.
Participants were tasked with visiting their local libraries and reading six books throughout the summer. Each child received a fold-out poster and could collect stickers along the way to track their progress.
Library staff organised the celebration event during national Libraries Week to congratulate the children that took part in this year’s challenge and to award the prize draw winners.
Local authors took part in the prizegiving to showcase their books and inspire the children. Tracy Gunaratnam, Parnita Senjit, Sarah Kittoe, Octavia Lonergan, Ciara Flood, Tia Fisher, Lorna Liverpool, and Gavin Brock shared their experiences as authors and gave advice to aspiring writers.
The Reading Agency partnered with the Youth Sport Trust for this year’s theme – Ready, Set, Read! – encouraging children to experience the thrill of sports and the power of teamwork through reading.
Croydon Libraries also worked with Cat and Hutch storytellers over the summer who delivered 26 workshops and four performances to children across Croydon, as part of This Is Croydon, the London Borough of Culture programme.
Councillor Andy Stranack, cabinet member for communities and culture helped to present the winners with donated prizes, including: a Kindle tablet, a family ticket to Godstone Farm, a voucher for Flip Out Croydon, a session at Croydon’s indoor climbing facility – CroyWall, and five pairs of tickets for a tour of Selhurst Park – home of Crystal Palace Football Club – and a signed Palace shirt were each donated by Palace for Life Foundation.
“Well done to everyone who registered for our Ready, Set, Read: Summer Reading Challenge. This was a great way to encourage young people to get involved in reading and to visit their local libraries.
“Reading is a fundamental skill and the challenge provided children with fun ways to develop their interest in books . I would also like to thank all the organisations who kindly donated prizes, which helped to keep participants motivated to complete the challenge.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon